I’ve been complaining all year about not having made anything of my own in 2017, but this weekend, that all changed. Somehow, in less than a month, me and the smallest crew I’ve ever worked on pulled together an entire web series, from script to production. Literally, this show did not exist, even in abstract, two months ago. It’s called Sam and Pat Are Depressed, and I’m really frickin’ excited about it, because it’s totally different from anything I’ve ever done. It’s nine episodes, one room, two characters, and hopefully worth a couple laughs.
As is my habit, after productions I like to write my cast and crew a thank you blog about how much I appreciated their incredible work. This is, predictably, that blog, because I still can’t quite believe that we pulled this off. (FYI- best way to stay up to date about this project and all others is to sign up for my new monthly newsletter!)
First, Chris Cherry, the Pat to my Sam, my muse, my juice daddy. I wrote this script largely from actual conversations we’ve had about our own therapy sessions, and I owe it’s existence directly to him. A laugh from Chris is worth ten of anyone else’s, and the fact that he thought this script was both good and funny meant the world to me. I hope I can keep impressing him for as long as I live, and that someday I’ll be half as funny as he already is. Acting alongside him all weekend was a hoot and a half, and I hope this isn’t where Sam and Pat’s adventures end, because I think we might be onto something.
Next, my steadfast director Andrew Williams, who managed to take 26 pages of depression and poop jokes and find moments of humanity and empathy. Andrew is the only director I’ve ever worked with as an actress, and I’m honored to have been shaped by his patience and guidance. Somehow, he puts up with me, and that in and of itself is a miracle. He manages to make two people sitting in a room feel cinematic, he adds acting depth where the script fails, and he’s the best captain of a tiny crew I’ve ever seen.
Brandon Smalls, as always, brings light to my life whenever he’s around. He’s back in school for pre-med at Columbia, but that didn’t stop him from meeting with us for three 4+ hour production meetings prior to this weekend’s 24+ hour shoot (over the course of 3 days). Brandon is my pocket boo and is the only person I trust behind a camera to be equally professional and a pal. He keeps his cool, rarely complains, and always has something profane to say to lighten the mood after ten straight hours of filming.
Michele Austin is delightful, organized, and always quick to lend a hand. She’s incredibly detail-oriented and always quick to help find a solution rather than wallowing in a mistake or a challenge. As assistant director on this teeny tiny set, she kept us all on task, on time, and never hesitated to hold a mic, toss me insane props, or keep a teetering light from falling over. Michele is on top of things, and if you don’t have a Michele for your own sets, get one. You won’t ever be sorry- I’m certainly not.
Masha Danilenko is in this series for less than a minute, and she might be the funniest part. I’m so glad we became friends after Brains- I look forward to every happy hour hang and conversation about our ambitions in the industry, and I’m so excited we got to work together again, even if it was for twenty minutes.
Rebecca McDonald sadly couldn’t be on set with us, but from afar she helped coordinate wardrobe for our lead characters to make them as iconic as the wardrobe she picked for Brains. She’s moving to LA soon and while I’m excited to see all the amazing things she does over on the west coast, I’m not-so-secretly dreading losing my friend to sun and sand. I just want her to be here always, because talking to her brightens my day, but hanging out with her and working with her adds years to my life.
Quinn Ramsay is my guy, my best friend, my biggest supporter. He not only sat in for a quick role himself, but he also gave up his apartment for an entire weekend so we could film here. He was patient, kind, sweet, and only stole like a quarter of our craft services. We invaded this apartment, unplugged everything, rearranged furniture, and messed up his meticulously organized bookcase, and still, his first words to me after we wrapped were “I’m proud of you.” He’s a good egg, and I’m lucky to have him. <3
Thank you to everyone online who’s been hyped for this project as well! Hopefully we’ll have some teasers up for you soon, and the season up for you before the end of the year.